I often found my value in my accomplishments. I needed to get good grades so I can please my teachers and parents. I needed to have the most pointed toes to be affirmed by my dance instructor. I needed to have the most highlighted Bible or be as religious as I could, so others would think I’m a good person.
When I became a mom, my value was found in whether or not I was being crafty enough, my house was organized enough or if my dinners were worthy of praise from my husband and picky kids. I left my identity in the hands of other people. That false identity defined my worth. Doing this often left me drained, overwhelmed and full of shame at every misstep.
How could I ever keep up? How could I ever be good enough?
I questioned, are we all searching for the approval of others… for a compliment, a pat on the back, hand clap or most importantly... likes on instagram? I desperately desired to earn other peoples’ approval.
And not just them, but God as well.
Did I read my Bible long enough, pray hard enough and serve my church well enough? If I thought I didn’t match my bar of christian excellence, than there is no way God approves of me. He’s angry and He’s disappointed with me, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
In Matthew 3, Jesus is being baptized. He doesn’t need to be baptized of course, because he is clean, beautiful and without blemish. He does this to identify with his people. By getting into that water, he was saying “I’m here and I’m for you.” After that, something amazing happens; God’s voice booms from heaven and He directly speaks to Jesus saying, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
But wait a minute. Why would God say that when Jesus hadn’t done anything yet? He hadn’t performed any miracles, healed any person or died on the cross yet. His ministry hasn’t even started, so how could God be pleased with him? This was because God was speaking to Jesus’ identity. Just like Jesus, we are image bearers and we were created in God’s likeness. God sees us clean, beautiful and without blemish… just like Jesus.
This passage in the Bible is so life-giving because when God is speaking to Jesus, He is speaking to us as well. We are beloved sons and daughters and with us, He is well pleased. It’s not because of anything we did to earn it or anything we did to deserve it. How amazing that there is not a task we can accomplish to make God pleased with us?
He already is.